By Kimberley Molina
At a media conference this afternoon, Blair Lekstrom said that although he personally supports the HST, he feels a blunt discussion with British Columbians is necessary.
Lekstrom stepped down as a Liberal Cabinet Minister and Caucus member Friday morning over the controversial Harmonized sales tax. He said the HST controversy was the sole factor in his decision to resign.
He says he was part of the government that chose to go ahead with the implementation of the tax and says he still believes it would be beneficial as it would attract private enterprises. He says he believes the province has to remain competitive; however, his concerns are with the execution of the process.
“I am not prepared either as an elected official or a resident of this region to support something that actually piles more…. problems on top of what we face already. So, if we can’t correct some of the things with the HST, then my support would wane for the HST. ”
Lekstrom says he came to the decision not to support the HST after listening to his constituents concerns.
Now sitting as an independent in the Legislative Assembly and being out of Cabinet, Lekstrom says he realizes that he will not be able to exert as much influence on behalf of his riding. However, he says it will not stop him from discussing and supporting good ideas.
“I’m going to try. I mean I have gone to work every day of my life trying to do the best I can and nothing is going to change that and I’m going to be as effective as I can and only time will tell.”